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Historical exchange rates (coin and bill systems) of European cities and regions during the late Medieval Period and early modern times, 1350-1800

Resource Type
Dataset : Survey and aggregate data
  • Metz, Rainer
Publication Date
  • ZA:
    • Historical Studies Data
  • Abstract

    The study is part of the MEMDB - Medieval and Early Modern Data Base. The Medieval and Early Modern Data Bank is a project of Rutgers University and was originally co-financed by the Research Libraries Group (RLG). The aim is to provide information on the European history of the Middle Ages and early modern times (ca. 800-1815 AD). MEMDB contains five large datasets, three on currency and exchange systems and two on prices. The data set on the currencies of the European regions of R. Metz reconstructs for 29 cities and regions in Europe - mainly for the Lower Rhine region - the monetary and currency systems and their value changes, expressed in gold or silver equivalents, for the given period of the late Middle Ages and early modern times. For this purpose, the author provided a complete review of money rates, currency coins, and arithmetic money systems, as well as a description of the structure and mode of operation of functional coin currency systems. The dichotomy existing in early modern currency systems between the arithmetic money, which in its function was a unit of measurement and count, and the circulating coinage as a means of value preservation and payment is an essential characteristic of these currency systems. Therefore, only the correct representation of the various calculation money systems makes it possible to understand the relationship between prices and money for the period under consideration. The calculation was carried out with the help of arithmetic money, and values were fixed and goods valued. The fine-weight equivalents of the calculation money are the basic data for the conversion of the nominal price data from the period into grams of precious metal, but they also serve as a measure of the value of the calculation money itself. The data were collected by the author in the context of his dissertation. The data provided here in this study are taken from the MEMDB database and organized according to cities and European regions in the same way as in the database. Some of the data transmitted by R. Metz directly to MEMDB have not been published elsewhere. In such cases, a complete citation of the primary source or other currency conversion information is provided. In addition, the data of the study ZA8055 are recommended (also downloadable from histat under the topic ´Money´).
Temporal Coverage
  • 1350 / 1800
Geographic Coverage
  • European Cities
A - Data and documents are released for academic research and teaching.
All metadata from GESIS DBK are available free of restriction under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. However, GESIS requests that you actively acknowledge and give attribution to all metadata sources, such as the data providers and any data aggregators, including GESIS. For further information see
Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA8705 (Type: ZA-No.)

Update Metadata: 2020-10-21 | Issue Number: 13 | Registration Date: 2019-04-03

Metz, Rainer (2019): Historische Wechselkurse (Münz- u. Rechnungsgeldsysteme) europäischer Städte u. Regionen zur Zeit des späten Mittelalters und der frühen Neuzeit, 1350-1800.. Version: 1.0.0. GESIS Datenarchiv. Dataset.